Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? Chalk it up to the deficiencies and depredations of a public school education that I regrettably reached the age of almost three score before doing so. Mileposts like this draw the gaze backwards, so I returned to beloved classics, rereading the complete Sherlock Holmes canon, as well as The Lord of the Rings, P.G. I read three volumes of Donald Hall’s essays (Life Work, Essays After Eighty, A Carnival of Losses). Main Catholic Store; Add To Cart Add To Wishlist. Assuming that others are also using this list for their Christmas Shopping, “Pushkin the Pontifical Puss: Tails of an Oratory Cat” is available, but for $900.00. In last year’s entry, I lamented the chaos that seemed to prevail around the Church; this year I mourn the chaos that has afflicted the Church from within. I am interested in why people do what they do and how they explain and understand themselves and their own moment in history. https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/12/14/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018 The Trinitarian Christology of St. Thomas Aquinas by Dominic Legge, OP. Christopher S. Morrissey teaches Greek and Latin on the Faculty of Philosophy at the Seminary of Christ the King located at Westminster Abbey in Mission, BC. Oscillating back and forth between these two poles, according to Tocqueville, pushes democratic citizens to increase their love, not for freedom, but for equality. I look forward to it so much because it guides my own reading choices for the next twelve months. by Patrick Kenny. When Tolkien sparked the explosion of fantasy writing in the mid-20th century, American science fiction was already an established genre. It showed up a bit late for me to read it as a personal reading choice marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, but late or otherwise a book from Brad Gregory is always worthwhile. The Outsiders by S.E. James V. Schall, SJ taught political philosophy at Georgetown for many years, and is the author of numerous books. Both are instances of great Christian literature, neither of which, to my knowledge, has been described that way. In far too many biographies, there comes a moment when you realize the author has started to despise his subject, the project, himself, and probably you. Aliens (Overlords) put limits on human earthly aggression. Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge, by Mark Yarm, which renewed my determination to visit Seattle. This is one of the most profound books I have ever read. Classic Lewis. 5. Its satirical thesis is alive and well. Farrow’s style is engaging: the essays could be appreciated for their literary qualities alone, quite apart from the theological insights they contain. This year, I read the book and learned the film doesn’t tell the half of it. One was a collection of meditations on the Sunday readings from Sacred Scripture for all three cycles of the Roman lectionary. The current mania for an ambiguous notion of progress, Dawson suggests, has distracted humanity from the reality that religion is the soul of a culture, and any society that has lost its spiritual roots is dying. Phil Lawler’s Smoke of Satan was another title I read this year—and reviewed for the Catholic Herald. Ines A. Murzaku is professor of Church history and director of the Catholic Studies Program at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He is not much in vogue today, but his short fiction, especially his tales of the supernatural, continues to attract an audience and one or two of his poems are still anthologized. I won’t let that stop me from 100 percent putting my weight behind this brilliant and sometimes wryly hilarious reminder that our Faith is entirely reasonable, beautiful, and a love story written by God. My usual beats are international relations, political geography (with a focus on Russia), and whatever catches my eye in American culture. Farrow offers a panoramic view of the crisis points in theology, combined with unpicking a number of long-standing theological knots. That gift is even more apparent in this book, where angels gain strength through the prayers and faithful behaviors of those they protect. Will it be the demons surrounding him or his guardian angel sent by God to protect him? I mentioned poetry. In Kaplan’s The Return of Marco Polo’s World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-First Century (Random House, 2018), which is a collection of his essays from The Atlantic magazine, he sees parallels between power shifts of the 13th century and those of today: a fracturing Europe, a Chinese “Belt and Road” system that seeks to revive the old Silk Road that connected Asia and Europe, with the added stress of a declining American ability to shape events. My undisputed favorites (and yes, I was only reading them for the first time) were Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). Another lovely new addition to one’s Tolkien library is A Middle-earth Traveler: Sketches from Bag End to Mordor (2018) by John Howe, conceptual artist for the Peter Jackson films. 2. Prof. Pereira (1931–2015) provides compelling reasons for rejecting Gilson’s description of Suárez as an “essentialist.”. Joshua is well-known, of course, for the famed and miraculous conquering of Jericho. One place I often turn is a list composed by Fr. Wilson is remarkable poet on several counts, but the two that stand out to me are his theological brilliance (reminding me at times of T.S. Appleby and his wife are practicing Catholics, grudgingly following the Church’s prohibition on contraception. It turns out, Father Bouyer converted from Protestantism for a real and lasting reason. The 10 Best Books of 2018. I am sure I have done the first—“read without ceasing”—this year. Sign up to receive a weekly email with news, analysis, and commentary from a voice you can trust! It is an excellent book, historical, entertaining, touching, and 100% Catholic. Ah, and Ignatius published. Deneen argues that liberalism’s inherent contradictions bring about liberalism’s self-destruction. Ali, by Wilfrid Sheed, Newman and His Age by Sheridan Giley, and Rebel for the Hell of It: Tupac Shakur, by Armond White. The Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace: History and Theology of the Movement for a Dogmatic Definition from 1896 to 1964 (New Bedford MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 2012). Emilia Salvini is passionate about music. Fictional Fun. I loved its masterful use of dramatic irony and it’s a great portrayal of a young masculine perspective. Blessed John Henry Newman credited Scott for promoting enthusiasm for the Middle Ages during the Victorian era. With a memorable plot and artfully drawn characters, the story also offers a sobering and intimate portrait of European recovery from World War II, a topic often neglected by American depictions of the period. Michael Federici’s collection of The Catholic Writings of Orestes Brownson comes at an opportune time, as Catholics once again reassess their relationship with the American variant of modern liberalism. People whisper secrets to insane women; confess things they wouldn’t otherwise, even if those secrets have to do with an unsolved murder. At 99 cents for Kindle, it’s a great value. The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of Catholicism by Taylor Marshall. Other than Gondolin, the only 2018 book I read was Ron Chernow’s Grant, a magnificent achievement. Of particular insight was Jennifer Roback Morse’s The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along. 2 (Hildebrand Press, 2018), Peter Kreeft, The Platonic Tradition (St. Augustine’s Press, 2018), Christopher S. Morrissey, The Way of Logic (Nanjing Normal University Press, 2018), Josef Pieper, Don’t Worry about Socrates: Three Plays for Television (St. Augustine’s Press, 2018), Donald Robinson, Stoicism and the Art of Happiness: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Life, Second Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2018), Roger Scruton, Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition (St. Martin’s Press, 2018), Roger Scruton, Music as an Art (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2018), Roger Scruton, Souls in the Twilight (Beaufort Books, 2018), John Sellars, Hellenistic Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2018), Seneca translated by James S. Romm, How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life (Princeton University Press, 2018), Timothy Snyder, The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America (Tim Duggan Books, 2018), Gregory Allan Thornbury, Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? Suzie Andres says it best. His ability to distill the dense and complex into the digestible and understandable is amazing. As we move through time all the options we had, or thought we had, close themselves off. Here’s a sampling. I returned to the practice of the Catholic faith around 15 years ago, and this was the book that “sealed the deal” for me, so to speak, and I have enjoyed reading it again. Buy the Audiobook for $17.46 for free with Audible. As only Stump can, the key doctrines of atonement theory throughout the history of Christian theology are presented, analyzed, remedied where need be, and given a new life for today. This, and subscriptions to Nova et Vetera, Speculum, and Kmt, meant I finished far fewer books than usual, and many of those were my go-to light reading: poetry, short stories, Pepys’ diaries, and Golden Age mystery novels. He’s only just shaken off the horrid “roman” experience when he learns that a very annoying acquaintance of his has been brutally murdered, his body found ripped open as if by an animal. Best Catholic Books Of 2017. The volume covers the arguments for and against such a proclamation and highlights the efforts of Cardinal Mercier of Belgium. It covers Sor María’s visits as the “Lady in Blue” to the Native Americans via bilocation in what is today the US southwest. Congratulations to the best books of the year! In particular, Don Rosa’s endlessly entertaining Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comics are being reprinted an essential ongoing series from Fantagraphics. As he rightly notes, “our culture isn’t wrong to recognize that moral actions have an inherently public dimension; it’s just committed to enforcing a disordered mentality.” Written for a popular audience, Hahn manages to blend moral theology, sacramental theology, and social doctrine into a bracing call for fidelity and witness. Dorothy Day The Long Loneliness. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[3]='MMERGE3';ftypes[3]='text';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';fnames[4]='MMERGE4';ftypes[4]='text';fnames[5]='MMERGE5';ftypes[5]='text';fnames[6]='MMERGE6';ftypes[6]='number';fnames[7]='MMERGE7';ftypes[7]='radio';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Analysis: Vatican decision on Indianapolis could impact pending lawsuit, and Catholic identity in Catholic schools, Colorado medical practice to offer specialized care to adults with Down syndrome, Sacred music album recorded on eve of coronavirus lockdown storms Christmas charts, Pope Francis: ‘Consumerism has stolen Christmas’, Chesterton fans fundraising to create Father Brown mystery game. I finally read Robert Louis Wilken’s The Spirit of Early Christian Thought (Yale University Press, 2003)––should have done it years ago. Paul Roazen’s Meeting Freud’s Family is an endearing book based on his interviews from the 1960s onwards with the remaining children and other relations of the great man. He is complex, and what I would call a psychologist’s dream in that he takes risks, acts out, craves attention, and is extremely cruel to his younger brother Roland. I need a hard copy in which to make margin notes. On Letting Go- Gospel Reflection for February 1, 2018, Thursday February 1, 2018. My healing began with Catholic treatments of the book from writers like Scott Hahn and I’m pleased to announce a full recovery after reading the good monsignor’s offering. Maybe they went to Mass after the story? Cardinal Müller’s interview with Father Carlos Granados is filled with many great insights and much hope for the future of the Church. Scott Hahn, who is also a fine Scripture scholar, has written a powerful, blunt, and sometimes surprising work, The First Society: The Sacrament of Matrimony and the Restoration of the Social Order, that makes an uncompromising argument for upholding the Catholic truth about marriage in a public square almost entirely set on destruction such truth. Episodic and anecdotal in style, held together by theme rather than story arc, Lord’s book is essentially a collection of stories drawn from her personal experience that illustrate the vanity and emptiness of anxiety and God’s faithfulness to His promises. Anyway, the Christ-haunted South in full affliction and violent redemption. I grew up reading Louis L’Amour’s Western novels, and it was a great pleasure to revisit one of them in the late summer. Joy thus depicts the great spiritual battles being waged every day, within the souls of men and women—serving both as a warning, yet also an inspiration, for those striving to be holy in our own tumultuous times. Finally, in the tenth year since the financial crisis of 2008, I would pair Deneen’s book with Mary Poovey and Kevin Brine’s Finance in America, which explains in detail not only the mechanics of American finance but its underlying ideological assumptions. Trying to explain to someone why I like The Lord, I called it “the work of a brilliant mind reflecting on Christ from the standpoint of profound faith.” I recommend it highly as spiritual reading. That one’s on my personal list of best books ever, despite a cumbersome title—a better one would be What Was Right (and Wrong) About the Reformation. Both Louis L’Amour’s High Lonesome and Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda fit the bill nicely. It is an astounding trilogy work of medieval historical fiction, centered on a powerful female protagonist. And then…get ready for it…Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped (1866)! Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) was the author of several novels, several collections of stories, and poetry, along with some children’s books. Mother Teresa, the apostle of mercy, canonized in the Extraordinary Year of Mercy. May 2019 bring us all solace and the tenderness of “joyful sorrow” that evokes a sense of expectation, for Christ is born, and has conquered all sorrow. In the area of fiction, I delved into P.G. Any secular reader or religious reader of another faith will find nothing insulting or problematic because the religion in the book is integral to the characters who simply live their faith honestly without being preachy about it. Things are hardly ever what they seem. Holly remains an uncaged bird, apparently flown to Africa. Good books, however, remind us that there is good news, just as the Good Book tells us the true and saving story of Good News, which broke into the narrowness of history two thousand years ago in a most radical and astounding manner. E. Christian Brugger, The Indissolubility of Marriage & The Council of Trent (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2017). Ever grateful to Ignatius Press for keeping Adrienne alive, a worthwhile companion during Lent especially. Fairbairn, a Scottish psychoanalyst significantly motivated by his Christian faith. Target Africa: Ideological Neocolonialism in the Twenty-first Century by Obianuju Ekeocha (Ignatius Press, 2018). This is no partisan picture of Luther. Moreover, the Church could stand to learn something from Rule 6: “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world”––in the vernacular: clean your own damn room first. Finally, The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea. This first sexual revolution was, as Harper shows, not just a modification of existing norms. The Weight of Glory by C.S. These facts are not unrelated, though I wasn’t aware of it at the time. His balanced criticism of Pope Francis meshes well with the reportage and analysis in Ross Douthat’s To Change the Church and Henry Sire’s The Dictator Pope, both eye-opening books in different ways. Doerr’s prose is as elegant and evocative as that of P.G. I read again the magnificent novel by Richard Adams, Watership Down (1972), or as I described to my kiddies, “the story about rabbits” (at first, they squinched their eyebrows…till they heard the story!). Everyone loves a good booklist. Maggie Ross, an English solitary, is a kindred spirit in this regard, for she says modern notions of spirituality and mystical experience are covers for “voyeurism and self-aggrandizement.” Our task of silently beholding God requires no “consumer circus” of gimmicks or gurus: “modern so-called spiritual direction is counter-productive and a distraction: it tends to make the ‘directee’ become increasingly preoccupied with his or her self-construct and imagined ‘spiritual life’ instead of moving towards self-forgetfulness in beholding the divine other.”, A similarly no-nonsense figure I finally read this year is the late English Dominican Herbert McCabe, whose God, Christ, and Us contains very useful discussions of prayer and much else. What if the multiverse were real? This year’s reading was as much a distraction from the news as it was an opportunity to strengthen my faith in these arduous times. It got Sigrid Undset the Nobel Prize for Literature. It begins with a substantial foreword by Andrew Louth and is the only book I have so far discovered that contains a reflection on St. Frideswide who is the patron saint of Oxford University. The best book I read this year, and in the past several years for that matter, was John Henry Newman’s The Idea of a University. I do not have space to elaborate on China and Ukraine, but I think I did pretty well this year. John McCloskey. The reader quickly sees that this is not the usual Church-masochism piffle of the obsequious Seventies or Eighties. Love and Responsibility also offers advice on how to build a successful relationship and marriage based on friendship and affection that can outlast the point when it seems that “love fades,” to quote one of my favorite movies, Annie Hall. Sparks composed his debut nonfiction book by asking his Facebook friends to finish this sentence for him: “How can you still be Catholic when…?” He then took those questions and answered every single one of them thoroughly in essays of about two pages. In the second section, on the authority of the Church, Father Bouyer opens up a bit on the anti-magisterial weaknesses of Protestant approaches to Scripture. The cupboard is bare, the monks share a prayer, but the work of the day must go on. Dr. Brant Pitre’s Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary: Unveiling the Mother of the Messiah is one of the best books I’ve ever read on the subject. Appleby’s wife may or may not be pregnant—yet again—and Appleby’s dissertation is woefully behind. Carl E. Olson The Catholic Perspective on Paul: Paul and the Origins of Catholicism by Taylor Marshall. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. Sandra Miesel is an American medievalist and writer. Reading in 2018 has involved more legal documents and current events than philosophy or theology. As with all Scripture, its challenges to readers are timeless, reminding us that no culture—regardless of its power, wealth, or technological sophistication—can remain healthy and humane without being ordered to transcendent truth and purpose. Questions and Answers About the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus by Carl Olson (Ignatius Press, 2016). It is wonderful to be led by a great teacher. “To advance the useful arts is one thing,” Newman writes, “and to cultivate the mind is another.”. Much of my reading time is taken up with news and articles, far too much of it online. The Scriptorium Daily, a blog where Biola University’s Fred Sanders holds forth with manic energy, moving from Tertullian and Karl Barth to Madeliene L’Engle and The Catholic Encyclopedia without catching his breath. James T. O’Connor’s The Hidden Manna, another contemporary classic, reminded me of what also remains very right about Rome. Writing again in an autobiographical format, Fulwiler here explores the struggle many women face when married life and children seem to leave their creative talents stuck on the back burner of life. We all love to brag about how many theology and apologetics books we read in our free time, as an alternative to the vapid popular literature, but occasionally, we want to read some solid fiction that won’t … 14 Catholic Novels that Don’t Suck Read More » Gustavo Gutierrez A Theology of Liberation. Philosophers and Philosophies by Frederick Copleston. Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen, P.G. For the second–“pray without ceasing”–some special training and practice is needed, which means one cannot learn to pray without ceasing until one learns to pray for a few minutes at a time. 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